You may be eligible for federal disability benefits if you are not able to perform your job because of a medical condition. Because the federal disability retirement system is very complex, having expert legal representation is crucial. Currently, two systems provide federal disability benefits for workers. The basic requirements are different for each system. If you are ready to file for federal disability benefits, please use the form on this page to contact us for a free case evaluation.
FERS and CSRS
The Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) replaced the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) in 1987. However, you may be covered by CSRS if you started working for the federal government prior to that year. We will help you determine which system covers your disability retirement benefits.
If you are covered under FERS, you must have worked as a postal employee or a federal civilian employee for at least 18 months. To be covered by CSRS, you must have worked as a postal employee or federal civilian employee for at least five years.
You must medically qualify to get federal disability benefits. You must have a mental disease or physical injury that prevents you from performing “useful and efficient service” in your current job. This means you are unable to do a major part of your job. And your disability must be expected to last at least 12 months from the date you file your application.
Finally, the agency you work for must state that it could not accommodate your medical condition in the position you are currently working and that it doesn’t have a position at your pay grade open that is close by where you could work with your disability. Also, the disability does not have to have happened on the job for you to be eligible.
This is different from Social Security disability. With SSD, you must show you are totally disabled. For FERS or CSRS, you have to show only that you can’t do your job because of your disability.
Applying for Federal Disability Retirement
If you plan to apply for federal disability retirement, you should do it as soon as possible, even before you leave your job. You may apply for disability retirement while you are still employed or within one year of separation from the federal government. Your separation date does not have to be the date you stopped working or became disabled.
If you are denied benefits under FERS, you may file a reconsideration within 30 days. When you file for the reconsideration, be sure to add any new or updated information that could help your case. If your request for reconsideration is denied, your case must go before the Merit Systems Protection Board. An administrative law judge or judges will review and decide your case.
If you are still denied benefits, you may then go to federal court to ask for relief. You must be aware of all deadlines, as missing one could destroy a valid case. Retaining an attorney to help you through the process — from the first application — helps to ensure the application and subsequent processes go smoothly.
Contact a Federal Disability Claims Lawyer
If you are ready to apply for federal disability retirement benefits or if you have been denied benefits, contact Morgan & Morgan for assistance. We have a proven track record and extensive experience, so having our lawyers by your side means you’ll be getting the best possible service and results. If we move forward with your case, we’ll assign you a full legal team, including attorneys and supporting legal staff to navigate from start to finish. At Morgan & Morgan, we’re passionate about fighting for the rights of our clients and treating them like family. Discover what we can do for you — fill out a free case evaluation.